Christmas Comes Early for Writers

You can’t turn on the television at this time of the year without seeing a glut of advertising for back to school sales. If you’re like me and your kids are grown, you may be tempted to tune the ads out, but don’t! If you’re a writer, a crafter, an artist, or work from home in any capacity, this is the time to shop smarter for yourself.

There’s no better time than now to restock your home office. Back to school sales provide the perfect opportunity to save money on computer paper, pens, notepads, and almost anything you need (or want) for your office. Been thinking of getting a chalkboard for the kitchen to write down those grocery items as they pop up? Hoping your laptop can last until the Black Friday sales? Do you really want to be waiting in line at Best Buy at 4am on a freezing Black Friday in hopes that you’ll be one of the lucky few to grab that half-price laptop? Now is the time to check out prices. It’s also a great time for artist and crafters to stock up too. Scissors, glue, colored pencils, tape, and chalk are priced right.

While you’re out there tracking down bargains for your office and home, you might consider picking up a few extra basic school supplies like pencils, paper, and folders to donate to your local school. With all the cutbacks to education funding, teachers are buying many classroom supplies out of their own pockets. A recent study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) revealed that public school teachers spent 1.6 billion dollars of their own money for classroom supplies and gear in the 2012-2013 school year. That’s double the amount in previous studies.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai

Thanks for stopping by,



Back to School and Zucchini Muffins

Zuke Muffins (2)Two events happen every fall.  Kids head back to their classrooms and I make zucchini muffins.  Through the years my recipe has evolved same as my taste buds.  I need a little bit more cinnamon, a touch more vanilla, and a cup more shredded zucchini.  Here is how I do it.  I bum a zucchini squash from my daughter’s garden.  I know the size that will shred into about eight cups.  Prefect for two batches.  First wash the gourd for possible dirt, peel it with a potato peeler, shred and set aside.

Crack 4 eggs into the bowl of your mixer, add 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.

Add 1&1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1&1/2 baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and three cups all purpose flour.  Mix this at a low speed until combined.  The dough will be pretty stiff.  Then add three or four cups shredded zucchini and mix well.  The dough now will be a little on the runny side.  If you want chopped walnuts and raisins now is the time to add them.   Put cup cake papers in muffin pans and fill with dough.  I used a fourth of a cup measuring cup to do the filling of the cups.  Bake at 350 around 20 minutes or until centers bounce back when touched.

Final touch: after they are baked and still hot put a half of cup of white sugar in a small bowl, add a teaspoon of vanilla and a little cool water and mix with a fork.  Use only enough water to make a spreadable glaze.  I brush the tops of each with the glaze and then remove from the pans to cool.  And that is how you make Marie’s zucchini muffins.  Hope you enjoy them.  Preparing the kids for school is another story, but I remember lists of required things like pencils, paper etc.  And lots of jeans.

business card (2)  Marie F Martin

September Book News

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We’re all excited about the 24th Annual Flathead River Writers Conference, September 27-28th in Kalispell. We’ve got a terrific lineup, including amazing teachers Margie Lawson and James W. Hall — and two of our own, Kathy Dunnehoff and Leslie Budewitz, will teach short classes as well. More details and online registration info here.




business card     I am finally ready to place my new novel Ratham Creek into the hands of five beta readers.   After that I have two proof readers lined up and the cover will be designed October 8th.  I cannot believe I am almost to the end of working on this story.  I began it at the end of the 1990s and then put it to bed and worked on Maternal Harbor and Harbored Secrets.  The picture is of my new business card.

Marie F Martin